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Mini Burrito 3 – The Burrito Rises

Mini Burrito 3 – The Burrito Rises

Evidently, the inspirational fairy (That’s the Holy Spirit for those of you unacquainted) decided I needed to get aggravated at something else in my newsfeed. Just one of those scanning through type things after an awesome evening….and there it was. A picture of the prayer scene that ends each episode of Duck Dynasty. I should point out first, that I love Duck Dynasty…I’m fairly sure Jase and myself have the same brain structure in whatever area makes you talk. Regardless, below the picture was a caption, that I will put below:

The POS Liberals and Atheists are given A&E alot of problems becuase of Duck Dynasty family dinner PRAYER. They want that part taken off the air. Well A&E went to PHIL and ask if they would not do that again. Phil Told them if we cant pray to God on the show, we will not do the show. Well A&E do you want the #1 show on tv or you gonna cave in to those POS Liberals and Atheists. I’m sure another channel will pick them up. GOD – FAMILY – COUNTRY – TEA PARTY – AND GUNS

…OH. MY. WORD. ARE. YOU. FREAKING. SERIOUS?!

I honestly don’t currently have the time to point out the level of hate filled anti-Gospel in all of this text, but hopefully you can. If not, then reading my writing probably routinely causes feelings of anger and hatred towards me, but that’s cool, thanks for reading. Anyways…how bout some scripture?

 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. ~ John 13: 34-35

 

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Devotional

 

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The Mini-Burrito II – The Burrito Strikes Back

The Mini-Burrito II –  The Burrito Strikes Back

Michael Jeffries will definitely burn in hell! Yep, I really saw that in my newsfeed today. Posted by somebody that will probably post some sort of Joel Osteen laced God wants to give you money tomorrow if you give Him money today ramble in the next few hours. It’s all a big ironic comedy. Especially since I have been preparing a sermon based around 2 Corinthians 3:18 and speaking on the Image of God. Some things people say never cease to amaze me. In the extended quote, Jeffries talks about “the companies that are struggling” and how they’re trying to appeal to everyone. Last I checked, Abercrombie & Fitch was shuttered and a cosmetics store took its place here in my hometown, so he may want to dive a little deeper there, and as far as the scripture is concerned, he may want to look in the mirror himself. Thing is though, we all should. We should realize that EVERYONE was created in the Image of God, even if you’ve had one too many burritos.

 

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. ~ 2 Conthians 3:18

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Devotional

 

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Mini Burrito Part One

Mini Burrito Part One

Have you ever sat back and marveled at the stuff He shows you? I mean, like when he supplies for a need you didn’t even know you had? Yeah, prior to tonight I never saw that happen either, but it did. I walked in to church for a monthly event, expecting the usual, you know food, hang time with my youth…which unfortunately is a singular term currently, but she’s awesome, and we’re preaching together next Sunday, so no big there, regardless – I sat down, and then it came. A check to go towards my homeless ministry that me and the Burrito Brothers have been doing. It just so happens that one of our homeless friends is taking a bus to Texas to an area where more services are available and he can have housing and better medical care, and he’s leaving in two days, and we already made sure he could afford the ticket, and got him a backpack to travel with, and now we get to get him some fresh clothes and some snacks for the long trip. How bout them apples? Or maybe a Burrito? Or like…some nabs and chips and stuff…those will probably keep on the bus better.

So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. – Matthew 6:8

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Devotional

 

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The What If Burrito

The What If Burrito

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.  For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.1 Peter 4 12 – 19

A common internet meme in the Christian world these days includes the phrase “Haters Gonna Hate” and sometimes points to a portion of this scripture as well as a few others speaking to the persecution of believers. In getting right into the fat of that, it annoys the hell out of me. It’s definitely something that I have been struggling with lately as I watch some things unfold via facebook and some other places as well as in my day to day life. My Burrito Brothers and I have been discussing the concepts of false converts, “once saved always saved”, and what exactly a true “Christian” looks like in their walk.

Now, it is indeed something I have addressed before in The Un-Fruity Burrito, but there are some other things that I really wonder about, things that have poked and prodded me quite a lot lately. I’m talking EXTREME discomfort here from it lately. Maybe that’s because it pains me to think that there is even a SLIGHT chance that somebody I know and care about would have the chance of not knowing the real love of Christ that UI have been so heavily blessed with. What would you do? What does that conversation look like?

To jump back a bit and bring the scripture above into it’s relevance here, I’m focusing on mainly on verses 15 & 16 where it’s saying “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” How many times have you heard somebody talk about being persecuted? Believe it or not, I see a LOT of it, especially on facebook. Now, the thing that I see quite often though, and the thought that runs through my head is “Well you did just act like a TOTAL jackwagon in that last post you had before this one, so are you REALLY being persecuted for your faith?” So yeah, that whole “if you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal” piece there, I’m pretty sure jerk should be listed too, you shouldn’t suffer because you’re a jerk and claim that it is because of your faith.

I guess really, bottom line here, the question I’m asking is what do you see as the real signs of BEING a Christian? What defines that for you, and what about the people that hit that definition for about a week, and then turn into raging butt-munchers the next? Is that a “once saved always saved” situation or are they false converts? I have a feeling this is going to be a pretty spicy burrito, and it’s definitely already a big one, so join the conversation, and invite your friends along.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Ramblings

 

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The Written Burrito

The Written Burrito

I have never been a writer. Nope, never. I remember knowing in first grade that my handwriting was terrible. SO terrible that when I was doing my homework, where I had to write my spelling words three times each, that I had to slow down so immensely that I could hear a clicktrack in my brain in order to write legibly enough for my teacher to read what I was writing. That concept didn’t change until I was in 6th grade. That previous summer my grandaddy had given us his old computer when he had upgraded. It was a Headstart LX 8088. The operating system was DOS, and we installed GeoWorks. For those of you who are computer nerds, this was the first CD-ROM system, and the CDs were loaded in special cases, Windows 3.1 was too advanced for it. Yeah, it was awesome….to me…at the time.

That year we read the book Secret of NIMH, and were assigned our first MLA formatted paper. I chose to write from the viewpoint of the cat, Dragon. I sat down in front of that awesome computer, booted GeoWorks from the 3.5” floppy and started the word processor. I stared at my cat, Jazz, for a solid half hour and tried to put myself into his personality, and thought about the framework of the book. I wrote a one page paper, printed it, and even made a cover page with a cat clipart, put it in one of those clear report covers with the hard plastic spine that slides on and turned it in. My teacher thought it was awesome and gave me an A. It was awesome. Handwriting was for suckers.

I wrote exactly 1 more creative writing pieces throughout the rest of my school career. It was in 8th grade, and it was my riff on the Declaration of Independence for my civics class. Being the kid that came to school in camos and band shirts with a chain attached to my wallet, and played Magic: The Gathering everyday at lunch, I got bullied and picked on quite a bit at school by the popular kids and told how much of a satanist I was by the fairly large population of kids from one particular youth group from the area. So, my independence was declared from “religious extremists”. Yep, at 13 I wrote a manifesto about how much of a jackwagon Christians were. I quoted scripture and song lyrics. My teacher posted it on the wall of the classroom.

Then came High School. 9th grade of course was a blur of stupidity and class skipping, but that summer I started my first real band. We played Metallica, Creed, Nirvana, KoRn, and Limp Bizkit covers and played a show at a chinese buffet restaurant. Then we started writing original tunes. I was writing lyrics as the singer. Yep, writing, and no, I didnt do it on the computer, so yeah, it was handwritten. Then came my student politics career. All of a sudden I was writing speeches. I was speaking in front of the whole school, then hundreds of people as a state officer, followed by thousands of thousands as a national officer. These speeches had to have substance, and I was writing them pretty much weekly.

I wasn’t a writer though. Nope, not in my head. I was a singer, and a speaker, but not a writer. Fast forward about 6 years and I find myself in Youth Ministry, preaching from the pulpit a handful of times a year, where I had to write full sermons on scripture themes and weekly sunday school lessons. Now I was in ministry, but still not a writer. Then it came, I had made some friends on facebook that started a local faith based magazine, and they were gearing up their online content and asked me to write a blog for them. I agreed and started turning out weekly pieces about this thing I called the Holy Burrito. I was writing…on deadline…for a real publication…but still didn’t call myself a writer. Nope, I was a blogger maybe, but a writer? Nah, my writing style was how I talked, and I was steeped in sarcasm, and probably somebody that made grammar police twitch with anger. I started putting all my writing on my personal blog site. Then the guy that was writing the latest book for I Am Second read my blog, and liked it. He asked me to write for the launch campaign of the book.

Holy crap! Was I a writer now? I don’t know. I kept writing after the magazine and book campaign were over though. I just kept going, admittedly less and less as I didn’t have anything concrete to submit to. Here I sit, writing though. So, where’s the tortilla to wrap all of this up? Maybe, it was all rambling and I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I think the point is that through all of this I ignored something that God had placed in my life to excel at as a true gift from Him, and saw it as one big happy coincidence. What an arrogant thought right? I think maybe. So whether I’m a writer or not, I’ writing, and thankful for doing so.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Ramblings

 

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The Responsive Burrito – Part II

The Responsive Burrito – Part II

So here we go. I have had enough pokes in my inbox, comments on my statuses, and insanity in my newsfeed to warrant that I write. Evidently that’s what it takes these days, because it has again been quite some time since I posted. We sit in the midst of yet another battle of “The Culture Wars”, and I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with the term.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the base of my faith convictions, being Anabaptist, so I will start with my unease with that term. In the foundation of Anabaptist tradition, most denominations are known as “historic peace churches”, meaning that we are quite often at odds with folks going into battle. In fact, many members of Anabaptist churches were considered to be guilty of treason in the Revolutionary War way back at the start of our nation, simply because they didn’t want to fight. I think that it’s probably a good thing I live in today’s world where I’m not faced with that choice, because I feel confident it would be a struggle for me. That being said, this culture war, claims casualties on a daily basis on both sides of the issues, and I am convinced that quite often it’s simply because we are approaching it as an actual war, than perhaps a simple conversation.

So, in the framing of this culture war, as I scan through my newsfeed at the red, blue, and various other colors, I see provocative statements attached to many of them. In a lot of cases, I love provocative statements because they can start great conversations, but it is increasingly evident that those making these statements aren’t interested in the conversation. They just want to state their viewpoint, and have people agree with them. In the responses that follow, I see all kinds of battle; from name calling, to intimidation, to outright accusation and hatred. There are beacons of light on both sides, of course, but in the meantime, both sides are shooting themselves in the foot, rendering the valid points moot.

So to directly speak to the issue at hand, I think Tony Campolo pretty much sums it up well in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post (here) as well as addresses in many of his books. The basics are found in this quote from the article though. “I propose that the government should get out of the business of marrying people and, instead, only give legal status to civil unions. The government should do this for both gay couples and straight couples, and leave marriage in the hands of the church and other religious entities. That’s the way it works in Holland. If a couple wants to be united in the eyes of the law, whether gay or straight, the couple goes down to the city hall and legally registers, securing all the rights and privileges a couple has under Dutch law. Then, if the couple wants the relationship blessed — to be married — they goes to a church, synagogue or other house of worship. Marriage should be viewed as an institution ordained by God and should be out of the control of the state.”

It should be that simple right? Well, not so much evidently. When it comes down to it, what you see in the root of all of these things is taxes – that is money. Now, I’m all for “rendering unto Caesar…”, but it would appear some folks aren’t. So what I’m really looking for, is an honest, and caring conversation. I can respect any viewpoint I disagree with, as long as it is presented properly and caringly, but wrapping it up in a burrito for the moment, I have to ask: What happened to the conversation?

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in General, Ramblings

 

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The Downtown Burrito

The Downtown Burrito

Recently, my good friend Lenny and I that started the Holy Burrito Brotherhood, had found ourselves as the only ones showing up to our Thursday get together. Most have had commitments with their ministries or their family, but others have just stopped coming altogether. We wondered if we had lost the relevancy to our goal of reaching out and having the honest and open conversations we had set out for, or perhaps our season was just over and it was simply time to move on. After thinking a moment, I just blurted out that maybe we should take it downtown. Instead of having people come to the Burrito, we would just bring the burrito to them. Lenny bit, and sure enough this past Thursday, we were heading downtown.

That night when I arrived, we printed out some of the questions that we’ve wrestled with onto strips of paper, mixed them up, threw them into a plastic takeout container and jumped in the car to head downtown. We jumped out and sat down right on market street where produce and artisinal vendors set up every weekend. It’s typically a high traffic area, so we figured we would have plenty of opportunities for discussions. Sure enough just a couple minutes after getting there, we had our first passerby. An older gentleman decides to take us up on our offer to draw a slip of paper. It was the question. THE burrito question. Of course, he just jumped right in and said “He could handle it!” as he handed the slip of paper back and went on his way. Not much of a conversation there.

We waited a few minutes, and it seemed as though suddenly the whole place had become a ghost town. Of course, the night we decide to show up there is absolutely nobody walking down what’s normally one of the most heavily trafficked areas in all of Roanoke. Finally, an older couple, very well dressed, who had quite obviously been out to eat at a fancy restaurant (Did I mention it was valentines day?) walked by and took us up on our offer. I don’t remember the question, but I think the word “God” was in the first couple words and as he read it, he threw it back at us and said “you know what buddy, I don’t care!”. Yep, there was the first rejection. Less dramatic then I had imagined it I guess, but hey don’t we all have that fantasy of getting just short of flogged because we’re spreading the Gospel? No? Well maybe I’m weird.

Next up came a pair of guys, one decked out in juggalo tattoos, the other looking visibly angered. They jumped in and grabbed a slip of paper and both picked the same question  “Do you believe in miracles? Have you ever experienced a miracle?” The first guy sat down and said yes, but his friend quickly said no and wanted another question, he picked the same one again though. Quickly Lenny told him that if he drew the same question again I’d give him ten dollars…he didn’t. Good thing because I carry cash long enough to get from the bank to pay my rent once a month. We’ll call our friends Tom and Chris. Tom proceeds to tell us that he believes in miracles, because the fact that he is alive alone is a miracle. He tells us a good bit of his life story, and based on what he tells us, he’s not kidding when he says the fact that he is alive is a miracle.

Chris is slightly agitated though, and begins to pace back and forth and then plugs a cell phone into charge in one of the electrical outlets there on the stall. He tells us that he doesn’t mean to be rude, but they’re not in the best situation because they’re homeless and they had just left probably the only place they’d be able to sleep in a bed that evening. They had been to our local rescue mission, and walked out when the current resident pastor preaching their evening sermon at chapel had told them, in no uncertain terms, that he was sure that not only were the two of them not “saved”, but that they were definitely going to hell. As the evening went on they stuck around to talk about faith with us, and just how they’ve been treated by “church folk,” as well as what they typically do and where they manage to find food each day.They told us that on nights where the Rescue Mission wasn’t a viable option they slept at the bus station. There was a place there where they could hide their bags so they wouldn’t get stolen, and there was a decent amount of space for them to stretch out and be comfortable, albeit on a sidewalk.

As we stood there, a girl, with a badly shaved head, and obviously pregnant came over and asked them where her boyfriend was. They knew this girl, and asked her why she wasn’t back at the mission. She told them she was trying to find her boyfriend, he had her coat. Without so much as a passing thought, Tom took off his zip up hoodie and gave it to her for her to stay warm. We never caught her name, but it seemed she wouldn’t have told us regardless.

Of course, our heartstrings had been tugged, and we brought them some things, but that’s irrelevant. What they showed us, after leaving somewhere because religion was being pushed on them, only to hang out and talk Jesus with us for two hours, is that it’s in the conversation where the Gospel is truly given. Where’s the next conversation for you? I know this isn’t the typical burrito blog, but that’s the question I want you to answer. That’s the next discussion to be had.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in General

 

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A Postal Burrito

A drawing of an envelope

A drawing of an envelope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess there is a lot to be said for what can happen as a person’s life evolves through time. In a lot of cases, as priorities shift and life takes place, sometimes things can become lost or hidden. They never truly go away, but can become some mired in the muck of not being used, that they almost become alien. Then, when a sudden loss occurs, it sends one scrambling for some semblage of what was known, or into a cycle of chasing what it was that reminds you of what you lost. It seems that’s what must have happened for me. I don’t have a good reason why otherwise. It’s been a fairly complex span of time really. Not all that long, but so very complicated.

Family is one of those things that, as you scion off into making your own, you decide that youre going to mold it certain ways, and of course, its never quite what you claim it will be. For me, though, music was something I always stressed as important. I may not have been playing like I was, but appreciating it was paramount, pretty close to establishing the importance of Faith even. You taught me that.

Throughout my life, I’ve seen stupid fall like snow flakes, and was even dumb enough to stick my toungue out more than a time or two. What I have found though, is that roots are established for a reason. I established roots in music, just like I have established roots in my Faith. I’d even go as far as saying that music is more than just a large tenet of my faith. I’ve gone through all the stages of naïve country to hippie to hipster and all around the spectrum of metal. I always had friends or peers that “only listened to Christian Music”, and I always thought that was outright dumb…still do really, but its for reasons of semantics I guess. Christian defining the genre, dumb, but the feeling you get when making or listening to the music, if that’s not one of if not THE most purest forms of worship you ever experience, you’re doing it wrong. You taught me that.

I guess really the “stages of grief” could be valid for some people, but after stepping back and watching what I did, and what I’m seeing other people do now too in their losses, it has to be so much more complicated than that. Being a 28 year old father and trying to lead a family is an interesting place to be, but when you’ve spent so much time establishing yourself one way, and ignoring the rest of who you are, sin can catch up REALLY fast. It wasn’t that it was something I was trying to do purposely by any means, really just a matter of misplaced priorities of course, but that’s all it takes, right?

I feel good that I found my faith in the way that I have. My ministry brings me a lot of joy. Seeing people light up because something I said meant something to them, just like when I would be up on that stage and see people singing the words to a song I wrote. Indescribable really. Joy? Maybe, but so much deeper and stronger than that. Feeling bigger and more connected to the whole is something that I’ve come to find out is really so much of being a part of the church as it is called to be. Making music has to be that way too. You taught me that.
I know that there was a lot of questions about where you fell on that whole side of things, but finding those lyrics was all that I needed. I pray a lot. A lot of people think I pray more than is needed, but I don’t know that it will ever be enough. Regardless, those prayers include wanting to establish a legacy like yours. My own, of course, but like you did.

In all of it, I messed some things up, watched people hurt, and probably didn’t cope the way or to the level I should have. In the last few days though, I’ve watched other people go through it and again experienced a senario where I saw a parent burying their child. I can’t fathom this, and I’ve watched it happen closely to me three times now. It just makes it all the more clear that staying on top of these things and ensuring that my kids, and my grandkids, and generations past that, can look back and say of me – you taught me that.
Thanks for all you taught me. You’ll probably never know the breadth of the influence it all had in who I am, but one thing being for certain – I will keep it as a part of me. You taught me that.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Ramblings

 

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The Sinner’s Burrito Part 1

The Sinner’s Burrito Part 1

 

It’s a sin cursed world!” If you’ve spent any time around any amount of evangelicals you have probably heard this statement. Maybe they were referring to diseases, or simply talking to someone who may have been wronged in some way. Regardless, it is a true statement, but what has happened in it’s use is that it has become excusatory. It shouldn’t be, but it has. It should be an awareness for sure. You know, kinda like “peeing on an electric fence hurts”. You say it to raise an awareness and provide the education that, should the opportunity arise, you probably shouldn’t pee on that electric fence, but inevitably, somebody is still gonna do it. That’s probably a horrible comparison, but it’s what I got right now.

Now, with that awareness for those of us that will sin (read: everyone), we would hope that it would at least reduce the times we fall victim to these things. For those affected by the sins of others (also read: everyone), however, perhaps it should be a precursor to allow us to exercise that whole “justice, mercy, grace” thing that I’ve talked about a couple times. I reckon its just good practice. Of course, it shouldn’t be without rebuke.

I speak through all of this, of course, from experience. There is a song by dc Talk, that is probably my favorite that they’ve ever done, called “In The Light”, and, without failing, every time I am covered in sin, I hear this song. I’ve had it come on the local radio station, and even randomly pop up while listening to my Pandora station. Every time, I weep through it. The opening lyrics go like this:

I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from you
I am the king of excuses
I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do

Each time I hear that, I see more and more that I have done away from my savior. Maybe I’ve gotten better at reading my Bible, or spend more time in prayer, but there is always something that has fallen away. Quite often, I have been downright despicable. Of course, in the Bible Isaiah compares everything we do apart from the Lord to what has often been translated to “filthy rags” or “soiled rags”, but more graphically, he is referring to used menstrual rags. Yeah, that’s gross, but it really is that serious. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul compares everything apart from Christ to what has been translated as “rubbish” or “filth” or even as boldly as “dung” in the KJV, but nonetheless, still more graphically, the original word translates much closer to a word we use today that rhymes with spit. So yeah, I think the point is driven home there. Furthermore, the whole “King Of Excuses” thing, yeah, I’m good at that, like real good. Rationalizing and pointing blame are pretty easy, but it doesn’t matter, I’m still the one that failed.

What’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a savior

I ask myself that question each time. “What’s going on inside of me?” It couldn’t be more of an appropriate question. Further, the despising my own behavior thing, yeah that pretty much hits the nail on the head. I’ve gotten to a point of sickness hurting about what I was doing and how to really get out of it. Afraid of embarrassment, or what the other consequences may be, webs will weave and things get so buried and so tangled, all in hopes that the stench won’t get out, but you can only perfume a rotten soul sandwich so much. The only fix, is my Savior.

I sit and I hurt and I wallow in my grief of what I have done and who I have hurt. The more I do this, the more I let the sin lay, which only feeds it and lets it grow. I have a Savior that took that guilt from me. I’m not guilty of these things after accepting Him, He was as He was nailed to a cross. So why do I continue to fail? Well, it’s a sin cursed world, and I am a part of it. Nope, not an excuse, it’s just something I need to remind myself. I need to be in this world, so I can continue to tell others what He has done, but I have to continue to try and push myself not to be OF this world.

The grace that we have been given is not a blip on the radar of our lives. No, it’s a part of sanctification that we have to go through to reach our true home with God. It’s a process, an ongoing journey in and of itself. So I have to continue to repent, continue to grow, and continue to seek my part of His grace. I have to work out my salvation with fear and trembling as Paul puts it in that same letter to the Philippians. That’s not because I need to be afraid of what my fate is, I know that I have a place in His Kingdom, but I have to be afraid of what I will do next, because these consequences hurt now. I have to want to follow what Jesus said and did.

I wanna be in the light
As you are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, lord be my light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the light
All I want is to be in the light

So, I’ve sinned, again and again, and of course, there’s more than a chance that I will fail again, but what can I do to make sure that it’s not the same failure over and over? Perhaps it will be something with much smaller consequences to people I love, or even something that can be used as an example to keep others from what I’ve done. I’ve got more to say on these things, but that entry is still being written. Meanwhile, the second verse is a reminder:

The disease of self runs through my blood
It’s a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control

I’m not going to fix this on my own. I don’t have an answer to my failings. Maybe that’s why I like to ask questions so often, but I also know, that no person on this earth has THE answer either. They may have helpful ideas and advice, but without my Savior, I am nothing, and can accomplish nothing.

So the wrapped up burrito here, friends, is this: Give grace, because you will fail. This IS a sin cursed world, but don’t let that serve as your excuse once you do, let that serve as your warning so that you might stop things before they start. I know this is WAY not my style, but the TV was on late one night while preparing for Christmas, and Joel Osteen came on and he actually said something that’s painfully true. He said your test will become your testimony. So, be ready for some testimony coming soon, because I have plenty of tests to talk about

 

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Ramblings

 

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The Responsive Burrito

The Responsive Burrito

It has burned in me for days now. I have been assaulted and insulted in a steady stream on my social media feed by folks whom I love. I have wept and avoided the opportunity to weep. I have prayed, meditated, and cried out for guidance, seeking His wisdom and waiting for a response. It seems that in the midst of all that continues to go on in my life, I have things laid to my heart on top of them. All I can think when reading any of it is “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!”

What I have seen in these posts to my various social media feeds, has both hurt me, and taught me. While it is hard to say that I would be shocked by anything that occurs in theis sin cursed world, I still can’t help but not understand why so many choose to politicize and polarize issues when such a heavy loss is accrued by real people. While I was holding and praying over my 7 year old daughter, others were decrying a call to defend. While I was weeping and asking questions to God others were jumping to conclusions and attacking the already-formed polar sides.

Instead of mourning, people were debating. Instead of praying, people were rallying and attaching an unnecessary cause. Where have we gotten lost from what is the most important sermon ever given, some two thousand years ago upon a hillside? How has our line of sight gone from blessing to cursing? Friends, I am a wretched sinner, and I fall short every day, and am constantly undeserving of the grace that I have been shown, but how can we not have our hearts simply break for tragedies?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When wronged in such a way, and reeling from tragedy, why are we crazy to believe that when Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” He truly meant we are to ensure that His will and His kingdom should be ensured and implemented now, and not only in the afterlife? When broken down to our core, how is it possible that we have such an earthly strength to see our own agendas and values to be attached to tragedy? When faced with loss due to an overwhelming evil that is ever-pervasive in this world, how do we NOT mourn?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

There are beautiful lives that have been lost, and families that are forever changed, and forever broken from this. In the face of death, we are called to mourn. In mourning we can set our sights on things above, and be comforted. So why have we chosen to rally and fight?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

When we are attacked and damaged, there is not an opposite effect to our resolution in immediate terms. Through damage we are weakened. Once weakened we are called to be patient and submit, so that we might we healed. So how is our cause strengthened by these things?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

When hurting and asking questions, we should seek the answers that heal, restore, and regenerate. We are called to seek after the things we are missing. When covered in evil, we are most missing righteousness. So why do we seek to be filled up on things of material and egotistical comfort?

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

In an often used quote of an author unknown, we are told that Mercy is when you do not get what you deserve. Of course, in terms of punishment, we are oh so quick to seek justice, and more often than not, our definition of “what you deserve” is askew. So often, we are guilty, and of course in James 2:10 we are told that “Whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point becomes guilty of it all.” Yet it does not seem that we are given what we deserve for this. So why have chosen to hold others who simply disagree with us to a standard we ourselves are not held to?

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted, from one of his more memorable speeches, that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In this quote we see that we are charged through this blessing to drive out darkness and hate, but in order to do so, we must be light and love, not different kinds of darkness and hate. So why do attack evil with evil, and hate with hate?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

We hear so often that in order to obtain peace, you must prepare for war, yet all we have done in our lives for so long is prepare for war. All of this preparation for war, has only brought us more war. So if we are to be peacemakers, why are we attacking and targeting each other?

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

In words no plainer we are told that when people do attack us and say harsh things to us, since we are His, these things are blessings. The verse even goes onto say that we should rejoice and be glad, because we will be rewarded greatly for this persecution just as all the prophets have been that have come before us. So why do we choose to retaliate?

In Jeremiah we are told of the story of Rachel, who wept for the loss of the innocents. In the Gospel of Luke, we are told of the slaughter of the innocents. In both of these instances, God was there, and was ready to restore His people. So, I ask you to please UNITE in prayer FIRST. I know that “Faith without works is dead” but works without prayer are worthless, and in fact, given some pretty harsh descriptive terms in scripture throughout the Bible. Once we pray, we can rest assured that we can then act and know that what we are called to do WILL ensure that His kingdom will come and His will shall be done. A faith wrapped, prayer marinated, action burrito, will ALWAYS taste that much better.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Ramblings

 

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